A German motoring publication recently reported that Tesla’s “Plaid Powertrain” Model S prototype on the Nurburgring has effectively destroyed the lap record of the Porsche Taycan around the iconic track. What’s particularly remarkable was that the Model S reportedly beat the Taycan’s time by a wide margin.
German media outlet Auto Motor und Sport, which has been covering the region’s auto industry since 1946, stated in a recent report that the Model S beat the Porsche Taycan’s Nurburgring lap time by almost 20 seconds. An observer from the publication recorded a hand-stopped lap time of 7 minutes 23 seconds for the Model S, far quicker than the pre-production Taycan’s time of 7 minutes 42 seconds.
Granted, the motoring magazine’s hand-stopped Model S lap time is bound to have corresponding inaccuracies, but this does not take away from the fact that Tesla’s largest sedan not only completed a lap around the Nurburgring without throttling its power; it did so in commanding fashion. This feat, if any, provides an encouraging indication of Tesla’s constant development of its vehicles, particularly with regards to its flagship sedan.
It would be easy to criticize or dismiss Tesla’s accomplishment for running a lap in a vehicle that is not yet available for purchase. Elon Musk, after all, announced that the Plaid Powertrain equipped in the Model S units at the Nurburgring is still about a year before it enters production. That being said, it should be noted that the Taycan unit that ran the 7-minute-42-second lap around the nearly 13-mile track is also a pre-production vehicle, complete with a roll cage.
Just like Tesla, Porsche did not disclose the specs and equipment set of the Taycan in its record-setting run either, only stating that it was a prototype unit with over 600 hp. From this angle, at least, the Taycan’s run and the Tesla’s Plaid Model S’ lap could be compared, considering that both vehicles had equipment that was installed for the Nurburgring run.
If Auto Motor und Sport‘s hand-stopped time is anywhere close to the official lap times of Tesla’s Plaid Model S prototype, the electric car maker will not only be able to beat the high bar set by the Taycan with its 7:42 run; it will be able to join the likes of vehicles such as the Enzo Ferrari and the Pagani Zonda F Clubsport, both of which lapped the Nurburgring in 7 minutes and 24-25 seconds. These vehicles are a class far above that of performance production four-door cars, save for monsters such as the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupé 63 S 4MATIC+, which completed the Nurburgring in 7 minutes 25 seconds.
With the introduction of its Plaid Powertrain and three-motor setup for the Model S sedan and Model X SUV, Tesla appears to be setting the stage for the release of a line of vehicles that are excellent both in a straight line and on the track. Together with the next-generation Roadster, Tesla’s Plaid Model S and X will likely establish once more that electric cars are simply superior to their gasoline and diesel-powered counterparts in every metric.